Review: Sing You Home, Jodi Picoult

| 11 April , 2011 | Reply

Kristy McCormick

The thing I love about Jodi Picoult\’s books is that she doesn\’t shy away from the big issues. In fact, the more controversial the better it seems. And in Sing You Home, the author\’s 17th novel, you will not be disappointed. The story is told from the point of view of three main characters – Zoe, Max and Vanessa – and as she always does, Picoult is able to provide an individual voice for each character so the story is fully and fairly told.

Zoe Baxter longs for a child, and has spent the better part of ten years, together with her husband Max, trying to fulfil this dream. But when her latest pregnancy tragically ends with a stillbirth at seven months, Max decides he can\’t cope anymore and ends their marriage.

In an attempt to recover, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist and begins working with Vanessa, a school guidance counsellor. To Zoe\’s surprise, their relationship develops over time into something more than friendship and they fall in love. Max, meanwhile, turns to drinking to dull his pain but when a car accident almost kills him he turns to his brother\’s evangelical church for redemption.

Zoe still dreams of a family and she and Vanessa hope it might become reality for the two of them. Zoe approaches Max for permission to use frozen embryos remaining after their numerous attempts at IVF, with the hope that Vanessa will carry the baby and they will then raise the child themselves. Shocked at this turn of events, Max turns to his pastor – who happens to have a strong ‘anti-gay\’ agenda, believing homosexuality is threatening traditional family values.

What follows is a personal battle fought in the courts, as Max fights to stop Zoe and Vanessa being allowed to bring up his child.

This is a great novel, and whatever your own personal beliefs are about this issue, you will no doubt enjoy a fair and enlightening look at topics that challenge us today. And the topics of gay rights, the rights of the unborn child and the concept of what constitutes a family are all covered here.

Available Now: Allen & Unwin RRP $32.99


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